I'm going to dedicate some time over the next few days to blogging about our 6 glorious days in Aruba. We arrived in the afternoon, so by the time we got through customs, out of the airport, into our rental car, and to San Nicolas where we were staying, it was late afternoon.
We stayed in a little apartment on the Buckleys' property. Bill and Johanna built the patio area and the apartment (and, I think, their home as well) themselves. It is fairly common in Aruba for people to build their own homes of bricks and stucco. The Buckleys and Sherman were there to meet us when we got there. Sherman had brought us some bread from the bakery, and Bill couldn't wait to show us his massive orchid collection (195 plants, including the one we brought him). Here's the cute apartment we stayed in (although its hard to see for all the huge plants and trees in front).
After getting settled in, we headed for Rogers Beach, a little beach on the east end of the island that rarely sees much traffic. I'm not sure why, other than that maybe people don't like how close it is to the oil refinery. Whatever. It's beautiful. And I LOVED going out there and basically having the beach to ourselves (there were two people there, who left not long after we arrived).
I was happy for a pretty afternoon on the beach. For me, there is nothing like beautiful white sand, that clear ocean water, and the incredible cloud paintings in the sky.
The next morning, I got my running clothes on and we headed towards Baby Beach. On our way there, we got sidetracked when I remembered a cool area where the water crashes violently against the cliffs and sprays up like a geyser every few seconds. First we took some pictures from a distance, but then we decided to shimmy on down to the sandy shelf just above where the waves were crashing. We got totally soaked. It was awesome!
We headed to Baby Beach afterwards, and went for a little ocean-side run. Then we enjoyed our first day of snorkeling. Okay, "enjoyed" is an understatement. I had been snorkeling once before, so I knew it would be cool. Chad, however, hadn't been and he was like a little child on Christmas the first time his head popped out of the water. So many fish! I wish we had an underwater camera. Really, it was incredible. I was just happy Chad loved it so much--I wanted so badly for him to love my little island like I do. This became the first of several snorkeling excursions on this trip.
After snorkeling, we left the beach and passed a man who had created a makeshift stand with graffiti-like letters spelling "Coconuts" on it. I want to be respectful, but the man seemed a little crazy (only adding to the experience, I might add). He had his giant machete and chopped us up a coconut for us to drink out of.
Fun, fun, fun! More trip pictures to come.